Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mooring B10, Marina Taina, Papeete, Tahiti

Moorea from Tahiti at sunset
Tortuguita's home for a month
Leaving Moorea, the winds were right in our face at 15 knots.  Motoring was slow going so we put up the sails and punched through some big uncomfortable seas for an hour until we could tack and head for the west side of Tahiti.  As expected, the wind died once we got close to the island.  The plan was to go in the west side pass by Tahina but when we got close, we could see big waves breaking across the entire coast.  With discretion being the better part of valor, and not wanting to risk the remnants of the swells that had been setting up for days prior, we headed to the main entrance of Papeete Harbor and took the tour inside the reef, past the airport, to the west side.

We are moored in front of the marina, doing some deferred maintenance, and preparing Tortuguita to stay while we go home for a few weeks.

We really like Tahiti.  The prices are expensive but better than we have seen so far in French Polynesia.  There are restaurants, bars, stores, and civilization.  We are looking forward to doing a lot more exploring when we get back. 


We could have stayed in Toau for months but we needed to keep moving since we need to fly back to New Jersey for a few weeks to get the houses ready for the summer rentals.
7 1/2 kts in 12 1/2 kts of wind
The Tuamotos have been in a type of Convergence Zone ever since we arrived there with light wind and alot of rain.
Our friend, Peter, who has been helping with weather forecasting sent us an email warning about 5 meter swells that were going to hit the west side of Tahiti in a few days.  So, we decided to head out early and go to Moorea before Tahiti.  There was not supposed to be any wind but we had a good sail the 1st day and it looked like we would arrive before sunset the next day if everything kept up.  Well, it never does.  The wind died and we motored for 18 hours and arrived the morning after.  Just 2 nights at sea.

Moorea is a beautiful little island.  We anchored in Cook's Bay the first day, moved out to the reef for some wind to charge batteries, and then were chased back in to the Bay by high winds.  While anchored out on the reef, we did some good snorkeling and dinghy exploring but the waters didn't compare to the Tuamotos.

The 'Band'
We took the bus to Le Petite Village to see how the bus system worked.

"BANANA TOTAL" Pizza, Sinful

We weren't quite hula dancers

We went to a Polynesian dance at the Bali Hai Hotel and then went out for Pizza. 

For dessert we got the BANANA TOTAL.  A pizza with bananas, brown sugar, chocolate, and ice cream.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Anse Amyot on Toau Atoll, Tuamotos

Remoras cleaning the bottom
We had a nice 30 mile sail to Toau.  The winds were 15-20 with rain showers every half hour.
Anse Amyot is a blind pass with a deep anchorage with 14 mooring balls protected behind the coral inside the atoll.  A few families live there making a living harvesting coconuts and providing hospitality to the cruisers.  There was 1 other boat moored while we were there.  They were a french couple, Claude and Michelle.

Gaston taking us to the Mantas
Gaston and Valentine live right on the beach were the main organizers of our fun.  Gaston took us to a secret spot in the atoll lagoon where Manta Rays feed on plankton. We swam with them for about a half hour.

Manta Ray mouth.  I was close!!!!

Bottom side of the Manta


Sharks that came to investigate us

The 3 of us took the dinghy exploring.  There was a neat little coral rubble island that we poked around and we took the dinghy out to the pass and drifted out while holding on to it.  There were an incredible amount of fish and sharks.  We got back in the dinghy when the sharks decided they wanted to touch us like we were touching the Mantas that morning. We weren't really cared, it was just creepy having them come up from the depths to investigate us.

A little coconut water while exploring the island

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fakarava, Tuamotos

Monument on the way in to Fakarava
After a week in Kauehi, we headed over to Fakarava to pick up Booker's nephew, Lewis.
We did well on the pass out of Kauehi with 1 kt of current pushing us out.  We figured that 6 hours later the curent would be ingoing at the Fakarava pass.  The wind had picked up and that may have changed the dynamics of the atoll because we has 4 kts against us with 5ft standing waves.  It was kind of fun surfing a standing wave doing 1 kt.  It was a nice long ride but we didn't get anywhere.

The anchorage was windy, not good holding, had a small mooring ball that kept hitting us when the wind shifted, and had a lee shore on a coral island. Not my favorite place

Fakarava has 2 expensive grocery stores, and not much as far as restaurants are concerned.  We did some walking and headed out to Toau.

 The Fakarava Church was similar to Hauehi but bigger.  Notice the shell strung ceiling fixtures

 The only hotel that had a possibility of Happy Hour didn't start until 6PM.  Dinner had to be ordered in the morning.  Not very conducive to cruisers, but beautiful surroundings.